Have you ever looked around your yard and wondered if it held the key to fighting cancer? Okay, so maybe not…but here’s a cool way you can be a part of a scientific experiment and maybe unlock the next new drug.
It’s called Citizen Science. It’s part of the National Products Discovery Group in the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (whew, that’s a mouthful!).
In a nutshell, they’re looking for soil samples…from your yard, from your neighbor’s yard (with their permission of course), or from your pasture. The scientists are looking to see what microorganisms are living in that soil. They’re specifically looking for fungi. Here’s why from their website, “Fungi are capable of making many new compounds that can thwart the growth of cancer cells, impede the spread of infectious pathogens, as well as treat many other human diseases. With millions of fungi estimated to be living on earth, you probably have several new species inhabiting your area that we have never tested.”
How cool is that? Just dig up a little soil and see if it’s home to a new cancer fighting agent! Click here to learn how to get involved and see where samples have been submitted from across the country.
The HPV vaccine prevents cancer. Simple as that. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that leads to cervical cancer as well as a number of other cancers. It can be prevented, however, with a simple vaccine.
Recent studies have found that the HPV vaccine is very safe. One study looked to see if the vaccine causes multiple sclerosis or any other nervous system related diseases. It does not. Another looked to see if girls who get the HPV vaccine become more sexually active. They do not.
This is a safe and effective vaccine that prevents cancers. Can’t say that enough. Dr. Amy Middleman is a researcher with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She’s studied how parents and health providers approach the vaccine. Her research has found a disconnect between the two, something she says needs to be resolved quickly.